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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

 

 

There is always a tendency, at certain stages of civilization, to 

insist on a merely formal and external uniformity, and a 

corresponding failure to see not only that such uniformity is 

unreal, but also that it has an injurious effect, in so far as it 

checks beneficial variations. The tendency is by no means 

confined to the sexual sphere. In England there is, for instance, 

a tendency to make building laws which enjoin, in regard to 

places of human habitation, all sorts of provisions that on the 

whole are fairly beneficial, but which in practice act 

injuriously, because they render many simple and excellent human 

habitations absolutely illegal, merely because such habitations 

fail to conform to regulations which, under some circumstances, 

are not only unnecessary, but mischievous. 

 

Variation is a fact that will exist whether we will or no; it can 

only become healthful if we recognize and allow for it. We may 

even have to recognize that it is a more marked tendency in 

civilization than in more primitive social stages. Thus Gerson 

argues (_Sexual-Probleme_, Sept., 1908, p. 538) that just as the 

civilized man cannot be content with the coarse and monotonous 

food which satisfies the peasant, so it is in sexual matters; the 

peasant youth and girl in their sexual relationships are nearly 

always monogamous, but civilized people, with their more 

versatile and sensitive tastes, are apt to crave for variety. 

Senancour (_De l'Amour_, vol. ii, "Du Partage," p. 127) seems to 

admit the possibility of marriage variations, as of sharing a 

wife, provided nothing is done to cause rivalry, or to impair the 

soul's candor. Lecky, near the end of his _History of European 

Morals_, declared his belief that, while the permanent union of 

two persons is the normal and prevailing type of marriage, it by 

no means follows that, in the interests of society, it should be 

the only form. Remy de Gourmont similarly (_Physique de l'Amour_, 

p. 186), while stating that the couple is the natural form of 

marriage and its prolonged continuance a condition of human 

superiority, adds that the permanence of the union can only be 

achieved with difficulty. So, also, Professor W. Thomas (_Sex and 

Society_, 1907, p. 193), while regarding monogamy as subserving 

social needs, adds: "Speaking from the biological standpoint 

monogamy does not, as a rule, answer to the conditions of highest 

stimulation, since here the problematical and elusive elements 

disappear to some extent, and the object of attention has grown 

so familiar in consciousness that the emotional reactions are 

qualified. This is the fundamental explanation of the fact that 

married men and women frequently become interested in others than 

their partners in matrimony." 

 

Pepys, whose unconscious self-dissection admirably illustrates so 

many psychological tendencies, clearly shows how--by a logic of 

feeling deeper than any intellectual logic--the devotion to 

monogamy subsists side by side with an irresistible passion for 

sexual variety. With his constantly recurring wayward attraction 

to a long series of women he retains throughout a deep and 

unchanging affection for his charming young wife. In the privacy 

of his _Diary_ he frequently refers to her in terms of endearment 

which cannot be feigned; he enjoys her society; he is very 

particular about her dress; he delights in her progress in music, 

and spends much money on her training; he is absurdly jealous 


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